The blockbuster move of the NBA trade deadline managed to shock even the player at its epicenter.
The Los Angeles Clippers began a belated rebuild on Tuesday morning, sending All-Star power forward Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for, well, lots.
Heading to L.A. are Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and a first and second-round draft pick. The Clipper sent Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to Detroit in addition to Griffin.
“Talks on the blockbuster trade began six days ago before accelerating entering Monday, according to league sources,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday morning. “The framework of a deal had been in place since early Monday afternoon.”
If it wasn’t clear that the Pistons, four games under .500 in the East, are in win-now mode then it certainly is now. "We are serious about winning, and this is a major move to improve our team," Pistons owner Tom Gores told NBA.com. "Blake Griffin is one of the NBA's elite players, and when you get an opportunity to add that kind of talent, you take it."
Detroit will hope the prolific but injury-prone forward steers clear of the bad luck that has dogged him since he came into the league in 2009, out of Oklahoma. The Pistons are attempting to chase down the 76ers, who occupy the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference 2.5 games ahead of them. Detroit, which plays the Cavaliers on Tuesday night, has lost eight games in a row.
Griffin himself appeared surprised by the magnitude of the trade, posting a ‘gif’ expressing his shock on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
The Clippers aren’t done at letting Griffin go, according to Wojnarowski. They also want to trade their two remaining major assets in Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan.